THEATRE PREVIEW: Cinderella, Lady Macbeth

VILLAINS: Living with Lady Macbeth is about a girl who auditions for a role in a school play and the girls who are always sneering at her.TWO of literature’s classic female characters, Cinderella and Lady Macbeth, are on stage at Maitland in the school holidays, in shows with appeal for adults and children alike.
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Maitland Repertory Theatre is staging American playwright Michele Vacca’s adaptation of Cinderella, which has characters with names such as the Duchess of Dullsomore and Dancing Duncan attending the royal ball.

And Upstage Youth Theatre is presenting English writer Rob John’s Living with Lady Macbeth, in which a reticent teenage girl decides to audition for the role of the title character’s determined wife in a school production of Macbeth.

Cinderella opens at Maitland Repertory Theatre, in High Street, opposite the Town Hall, on July 8, and has weekend performances until July 24.​ Living with Lady Macbeth has shows nightly from July 6 to 9, at the Upstage Studio, 317 High Street.

The productions give young actors the chance to appear in acclaimed plays.

While Michele Vacca stuck close to the Cinderella story in her adaptation, she added some interesting features.

Ugly sisters Tanya Keen, 17, of Maitland and Luke Barker, 15, of Fassifern, andLadies Lauren Bevan, 13, of Maitland and Charlie Short, 12, of Maitland during rehearsals for Cinderella.

The prince, for example, is part of the team delivering invitations to the ball that is intended to find him a bride, and he is attracted to Cinderella when he sees her tending rose bushes in the family garden. When she comes to the ball, in elegant clothes with a white rose attached to her gown, he is sure he has seen her before, but her flight as the clock strikes midnight prevents him from questioning her.

Director Leilani Boughton says the show is vibrant and colourful. She is showing the timelessness of the story by having the characters wear a mix of clothing from the 1780s and the 1920s, with background music from the latter period used in the ballroom and other scenes.

Ann Croger, who co-directs Living with Lady Macbeth with Jess Rose, says that as the play includes characters and scenes from Macbeth it is a good introduction to Shakespeare’s works.

And while Lily, the girl seeking to play Lady Macbeth, is viewed by her mother, best friend, and boyfriend as being moderate, and by a sporty quintet of female classmates as dull, she shows passion in regards to the auditions – and is seen, in her imagination, with Macbeth characters, including its three witches.

Cinderella runs for 1 hour 45 minutes, including an interval. It has performances on Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, plus a 7.30pm Saturday show on July 16. Tickets: $17. Bookings: 4931 2800; maitlandreptheatre上海龙凤419.Living with Lady Macbeth runs for an hour, with no interval. It plays nightly at 7.30pm. The venue has no seats, so patrons are asked to bring cushions and rugs or, if needed,a chair. Tickets: $15. Bookings: trybooking上海龙凤419m/204188.